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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357420

Research Project: Development and Evaluation of Sustainable Crop and Grassland Production Systems

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: Sweet corn phosphorus uptake from sandy soil amended with anaerobically-digested manure

Author
item Collins, Harold
item KIMURA, EMI - Texas A&M Agrilife
item Smith, Douglas

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2020
Publication Date: 11/1/2020
Citation: Collins, H.P., Kimura, E., Smith, D.R. 2020. Sweet corn phosphorus uptake from sandy soil amended with anaerobically-digested manure. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 51(18):2398-2413. https://doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2020.1836208.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2020.1836208

Interpretive Summary: Increasing fertilizer costs and environmental concerns surrounding waste management have prompted the development of fertilizers from localized agricultural waste streams including nutrients recovered from dairy, cattle, swine and poultry operations. There is a significant opportunity in the Pacific Northwest and across the U.S. to recover nutrients from animal wastes and use them as fertilizers. Of the major plant nutrients, world resources of phosphorus are the smallest and peak phosphorus is predicted to be reached globally by 2030. Because of potential shortfalls in availability, phosphorus should be used as efficiently as possible in order to conserve the resource base and to maintain agricultural productivity. A variety of promising phosphorus-enriched products recovered from anaerobic digestion are now emerging as commercially viable. These include traditional products such as digested liquid manure and bio-solids from dairy anaerobic digesters and newer products such as recovered ammonium sulfate and phosphorus enriched fine solids from anaerobic digestion and ammonium and phosphorus containing struvite crystals from anaerobic digestion dairy operations. Field experiments were conducted in the Columbia Basin of South Central Washington to evaluate the yield response of sweet corn (Zea mayes convar. saccharata cv. Sheba) to the application of phosphorus enriched materials recovered from anaerobic digestion of manures. Our results indicate that all P fertilizer sources used performed similarly to commercial available fertilizers when equal rates were applied.

Technical Abstract: Anaerobic digester development on dairy, poultry, and swine CAFOs reduce manure storage, produce energy and are poised to supply a variety of nutrient rich materials. Field experiments were conducted in the Columbia Basin of South-Central Washington to evaluate the yield response and P use efficiency of sweet corn (Zea mayes convar. saccharata cv. Sheba) to the application of P from anaerobic digested manures. Treatments consisted of the application of 0,10, 20, 40 kg P ha-1 from five sources, three from anaerobic digesters (AD); AD-dairy P fine solids; AD centrifuged poultry solids; and AD dairy derived struvite-P compared to a commercial poultry fertilizer, commercial mono-ammonium phosphate and a non-amended control. Sweet corn yields were not significantly different among P amendments or rates of application but were different between years and were greater than the No-P treatment in 2014. Phosphorus recovery efficiency defined as that percentage of applied P recovered by sweet corn averaged 138% among treatments recieving 10 kg P ha-1 and declined to 57% for higher rates of poultry materials and the commercial MAP in 2013 and declined 50% in 2014 due to lower yields. Although yield was not different the uptake of P among treatments was significantly greater than the unfertilized control. The lack of yield differences among rates of P applied indicate that P was not limiting yield and suggests that under these production conditions the application of 10 kg P ha-1 of any of the amendments was sufficient.